Georgian Church celebrates 45 years of Patriarch Ilia

Tbilisi, December 26, 2022

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A festive Divine Liturgy in honor of the 45th anniversary of the enthronement of Patriarch Ilia as primate of the Georgian Orthodox Church was celebrated in Tbilisi’s Holy Trinity Cathedral yesterday.

The service was celebrated by His Eminence Metropolitan Shio of Senaki and Chkhorotsqu with other Georgian hierarchs and clergy, the Georgian Church reports.

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No hierarchs or representatives from other Local Churches were present, as the Patriarchate had announced earlier this month that the celebrations would be held on a modest scale due to the difficult situation in Ukraine and around the world.

His Holiness received the greetings of the President, Prime Minister, and other public officials at the Patriarchal residence after the service.

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Pat. Ilia was enthroned as head of the Georgian Church on December 25, 1977, and there has been a great revival of Orthodoxy under his care.

At the time of his enthronement, there were 15 dioceses and only 30 active churches left thanks to communist persecutions. Today there are 47 dioceses and about 2,000 active parishes, as well as about 3,000 clergy.

The Patriarch is also the most beloved and trusted man in the nation, and today he is the Godfather to more than 45,000 Georgian children.

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